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M/V Plancius - Antarctica Cruise - Whale Watching, Wildlife & Photography

March 20-29, 2013 - Roundtrip from Ushuaia, Argentina - 9 nights / 10 days - Voyage PLA33

10% discount on this departure!

A typical itinerary to the Antarctic Peninsula is illustrated below. All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

Day 1: Ushuaia (March 29) - Ushuaia - In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.

Days 2 & 3: At sea - During these two days we sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area we may see Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black- browed Albatrosses, Light- mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Cape Pigeons, Southern Fulmars, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs.

Day 4: Deception Island - At Deception Island, we will try to land at Baily Head home to a colony of ten thousands Chinstrap Penguins (please note this landing is not always guaranteed and is only possible in good weather conditions). Good walkers may hike from Baily Head over the ridge of the crater into Whalers Bay, while our ship braves its entrance into the crater through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellow into the ring of Deception Island. Deception itself is a sub-ducted crater, which opens into the sea, creating a natural harbour for the ship. Here we find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, many Dominican Gulls, Brown Skuas and Antarctic Terns. Wilson’s Storm Petrels and Black-bellied Storm Petrels nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay.

Day 5: Antarctica – continental landing - If the sea ice conditions allow we will try and reach Hope Bay or Brown Bluff at the Northern tip of the Antarctic Continent. In this area chances are good for encounters with Adelie Penguins, Weddell Seals, Leopard Seals and Orcas.

Day 6: Paulet Island - If ice conditions allow, we will sail to Paulet Island where we will observe the last individuals of a large Adelie Penguin colony near the ruins of the Nordenskjöld Expedition from the beginning of the 20th century. Depending on the sea ice we sail east or west of the Danger Islands to the north.

Day 7: At sea - We will sail towards the South Orkney Islands. Our exact navigational course will be determined by the prevailing ice conditions, in terms of both extent of sea ice and density of icebergs, which vary from year to year.

Day 8: South Orkney Islands - We are planning on a visit to Orcadas station, an Argentinean base located in the South Orkney Islands. The friendly base personnel will show us their facilities and we can enjoy the wonderful views of the surrounding glaciers.
Day 9: At sea - On our way to South Georgia, we witness a multitude of Albatrosses, Petrels and Fulmars.

Days 10 – 12: South Georgia - In South Georgia we begin our visit with zodiac excursions in the magnificent Drygalski Fjord and Larsen Harbour. In Cooper Bay we will observe Chinstrap Penguins and Macaroni Penguins and breeding Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses. On Salisbury Plain, we will see a huge King Penguin colony, elephant seals and fur seals. On Prion Island in the Bay of Isles we can see breeding Wandering Albatrosses. At the end of our time in South Georgia we will visit the abandoned whaling settlement in Grytviken, where now the penguins walk through the streets, and King Edwards Point where the grave of Shackleton lies. 

Days 13 – 17: At sea - In the Westerlies we have a pleasant tailwind. On both sides of the Antarctic Convergence, we observe many species and great numbers of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic seabirds.

Day 18: Gough Island - Today we plan to approach the unique Gough Island for zodiac cruising around the island, as always weather permitting. In previous years we managed to circumnavigate all but four miles of the 33 mile circumference of the island in the ship, saw spectacular scenery and an unprecedented abundance of wildlife. We felt very privileged to be among the few visitors who have been able to experience Gough and in particular, to see it at such close quarters and in such favorable conditions. We hope to be lucky to repeat this unique experience with you.

Days 19 – 21: Tristan da Cunha - In the Tristan da Cunha archipelago we plan to call on the settlement at the west side of the main island. We will also try to make landings at Nightingale Island and Inaccessible Island with millions of seabirds ranging from Yellow-nosed Albatrosses to Brown Noddies. We allow one day in reserve for bad weather. Please note that we will try and approach for landings, however due to the weather conditions this is not always possible.
Since we began our Atlantic Odyssey's (1998) we failed during 30% of the voyages to make landings in the Tristan da Cunha archipelago, due to adverse weather.

Day 22 – 25: At sea - We now enter sub-tropical waters with their own species of seabirds and dolphins.

Day 26 – 28: St. Helena - St. Helena has a good anchorage and landing site. On this island, we will have ample opportunities to enjoy local culture, pleasant climate, and endemic plants and birds. We will visit the place where Napoleon lived in exile. There will be opportunities to explore the Island on your own and for snorkelling; in the shallow surf where we can find a lot of fishes.

Day 29 – 30: At sea

Day 31 -32: Ascension Island ( April  28 - 29 ) - Ascension Island is a dry volcanic island with a moist and richly vegetated top. The Sooty Tern (wide-awake) colony sometimes consists of more than 1 million breeding pairs. We will try to climb the moist summit of Ascension Island and make a zodiac-cruise around Boatswain Bird Island offering also great opportunities for snorkelling. We may witness egg-laying sea turtles coming ashore at night. Some of our passengers may disembark and fly with the scheduled RAF (Royal Air Force) flight to Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, UK. Others may proceed with the voyage to the Cape Verdes. In the evening the vessel will depart from Ascension Island.


Cruise Rates

10% discount on this departure!

Cabin

Rate Per Person (USD)

Twin Window:

$ 10,450

Twin Porthole:

$ 10,150

Triple Porthole:

$ 9,190

Quadruple Porthole:

$ 8,250

Twin Deluxe:

$ 10,690

Superior:

$ 11,390

All rates are quoted per person in US Dollars, based on twin occupancy. US Dollar rates apply for all sales outside Europe. 5% discount will be granted for bookings for one or more consecutive voyages (except on legs within the Atlantic Odyssey). Please note that all dates & rates are subject to change. All voyages will operate subject to a minimum of 70 participants on Plancius and 60 participants on Ortelius.

Single occupancy: All cabins 1.7 times the share price

Fares include:
•    Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
•    All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
•    Free use of rubber boots aboard Plancius & Ortelius and snowshoes aboard ‘Plancius’.
•    Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation). 
•    All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
•    During voyages OTL21, OTL22, OTL23, OTL26 and OTL27: ship-to-shore helicopter transfers (with no specific amount of helicopter time guaranteed).
•    Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff. 
•    All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
•    Comprehensive pre-departure material.

Not included:
Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post land arrangements; transfers to the vessel; passport and visa expenses; Government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

It is agreed that if world fuel prices will reach or exceed US Dollar 90 per Barrel Brent
90 days prior to departure Oceanwide Expeditions reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US $ 25 per passenger per night, to be paid by the contracting party of Oceanwide Expeditions.